Medical care has been on the rise, which also includes pet healthcare. While your pet may feel totally healthy now, that doesn’t mean that accidents or sickness won’t happen. It could be something as severe as a pet's broken bones, hip dysplasia, or preventive care like spaying or neutering. Both emergency care and regular vet visits can add up. Expensive treatments can be a difficult conversation to have with your veterinarian, and a hardship for many families to have to pay for their dog or cat's veterinary care out of pocket.
However, there is a better option for pet owners. Using pet insurance will help you to prepare for the unexpected and reduce the financial burden associated with your animal getting sick.
What is Pet Health Insurance?
Pet health insurance, whether it be cat insurance or dog insurance, is an insurance policy designed to protect you from paying thousands of dollars out of pocket, by paying a monthly premium. When your pet does become injured or sick, you can pay out of pocket and submit a claim for reimbursement to the insurance company provider. You might need to still pay a percentage or deductible, and certain conditions may not be covered by pet insurance companies.
While this might seem an expensive price to pay, pet health insurance can be the deciding factor on being able to provide the proper care to your animal versus having to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for vet bills or forgo care altogether. Your ability to provide wellness with a pet insurance plan will give you peace of mind.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Your insurance agency will usually have multiple coverage options to choose from. There are a few different factors that determine your pet insurance policy pricing.
Deductible: The deductible is the amount you need to pay before you are reimbursed for your pet's care. For example, If your pet needs vaccinations or has incurred general exam fees, you'll typically need to pay a part of that out of pocket. This is according to your specific policy terms. You may also have an annual deductible, which means you will have a waiting period to be reimbursed until you meet this deductible. If you don't meet it, you will not be reimbursed for their care.
Reimbursement level: After you pay your deductible, your insurance will need to pay a percentage of your veterinary bills, which can range from 25% to 100% of the remaining cost. Insurance products are different, so it's important for pet parents to check the fine print.
Annual maximum: This is the maximum amount the insurance provider will pay each year.
Why Does My Pet Insurance Premium Fluctuate?
Insurers will charge based on a variety of factors including medical history, congenital conditions, age of the animal, and whether you choose an illness plan or a wellness plan.
Species: The species of animal will change the price of your insurance. Dogs tend to cost more, and males tend to have bigger premiums.
Age: Younger animals usually don't have any type of health conditions, and will only require routine care, so they tend to be less expensive.
Breed: Larger pets tend to cost more money because they usually have pre-existing conditions and a shorter life span.
Location: The cost of your insurance could vary depending on where you live. When there are more pets insured in one area, the insurance price tends to be a bit higher.